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Holmes (Burton) Films, Inc.Radio and Television (1940)

something has gone horribly wrong 8-p
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View of the radio industry as it existed in 1940, showing potential occupations at every level. Introduces the new industry of television, emphasizing its need for specially skilled workers. Useful imagery of the electronic media in the pre-World War II era.

This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives

Producer: Holmes (Burton) Films, Inc.
Sponsor: Vocational Guidance Films, Inc.
Audio/Visual: Sd, B&W
Keywords: Occupations: Broadcasting; Media: Radio; Media: Television

Creative Commons license: Public Domain

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Average Rating: 3.50 out of 5 stars3.50 out of 5 stars3.50 out of 5 stars3.50 out of 5 stars

Reviewer: ERD - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - March 15, 2006
Subject: Informative for the 1940 high school student
This 1940 film covered the different jobs in radio at the time. (Also slightly brings up the new field of TV)It explains what requirements will be needed. For its time, this informative film was excellent for the high school student
Reviewer: Spuzz - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - April 15, 2004
Subject: Radio killed the Vaudvillian Star
A "This is your career!" film focusing on the (then) many oppurtunities you can have working in radio, and oh yeah, television. Surprisingly, this mostly focuses on the technical side of things, eg radio tech careers, and not say, broadcasting. So to sum this film up, Boys! don't even think of becoming a radio engineer unless you've got the training, otherwise you'll just be hired to assemble the radios (with the girls).


Appraisal. Good for (1) showing occupations in radio and television, (2) giving impressions of the nature of the work and the training required in various radio and television jobs, and (3) stressing the importance of selecting reputable schools for training in the more technical aspects of the field.

The film includes a great variety of occupations from those of little skill to those requiring great technical ability. It relies heavily on the commentary for the development of concepts.

Photography and sound are good.

Contents. An overall view of the radio industry, indicating some of the jobs available in the field and suggesting the training required in each.

A young man is shown examining a radio chassis. The commentator says that the development of the vacuum tube enabled radio to grow into an industry employing thousands of people. Activities of some of the people connected with radio are indicated by views of typists, continuity writers, bookkeepers, file clerks, news commentators, actors, sound effects men, control operators, network engineers, and others in the headquarters of a large broadcasting company. The work of maintaining programs upon the networks is illustrated by views of operators at huge control panels. Apparatus is checked and repaired by trained men. Equipment improvement is effected by a group of specialists trained in electrical engineering.

Jobs connected with radio manufacturing are described as requiring less skill than do those previously discussed. Men and women are shown assembling radio chassis in a factory. Radio repairmen are shown at work as the commentator says that the supply of such men generally exceeds the need and makes it difficult for any but the best to succeed. As salesmen demonstrate sets to customers, the commentator says that those who have some technical training are the ones most likely to succeed in this occupation.

Additional occupations in radio are indicated by views of radio operators on board ship and at land stations. The commentator describes the training requirement for this work. A similar aspect of radio communication is illustrated by views of airplane pilots and airfield radio operators at work.

Occupations in allied fields of radio are indicated by views of motion-picture and public-address system operators at work. The commentator says that, while public-address system operators require some special training, there are few ready good jobs and that the best jobs are those of installing the equipment.

The next sequence deals with television and related fields. Men are shown at work with machines that transmit photographs and other materials by wire. Television is described as a field requiring specially trained men who have graduated from radio work. A television broadcast of a horse race is shown.

The concluding sequence describes the training required for occupations in radio work. The commentator says that the best preparation is to be obtained in a first-class electrical engineering school where it is possible to specialize in communications engineering, and that there are a few vocational correspondence schools that offer some good training. He says that a strong foundation in science and mathematics is needed for success in the field of radio. A young man is shown operating an amateur broadcasting station as the commentator describes the importance of this hobby in combining theory with practical experience.

Danger Lurks

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